Summer is here!
That’s right, folks. Blow up those inflatable pools, bust out the bikinis, and slather on some sunscreen, because the scorching summer season has returned to the desert. And while some people may try to beat the heat with a trip up north or stockpiling Otter Pops, what better way to cool down than with a delicious iced boba tea? An Eastern Asian delicacy that has skyrocketed in popularity in countries across the globe, boba or bubble tea is an iced mix of different flavored teas and milk with tapioca pearls.
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Here are The Copper Courier’s top five boba spots in Tempe— or what I’m calling the Summer Boba Tea Crawl.
Stop One: Tea Swirl
Location: 725 S. Rural Road, Suite 107
Hours: 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
Starting off strong right across the street from Arizona State University on Rural is Tea Swirl. Looking for something more on the side of fruity and fizzy? Or maybe just a classic oolong milk tea? Tea Swirl has a wide variety of different energizing refreshers and teas. I got a Galaxy Swirl with some added raspberry jelly to try and find relief from the sweltering Arizona heat.
Stop Two: Duplex 双拼记 (Boba) Tea Station
Location: 1845 E. Broadway Road, Suite 121
Hours: Monday-Thursday 12 ppmp-10 p.m., Friday-Sunday 12 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Looking for a photogenic hangout spot? Duplex 双拼记 (Boba) Tea Station in Tempe has not only the most refreshing Rose Sparkling Lemonade and the juiciest popping boba ever, it also has a pretty neat selection of rings, necklaces, and press-on nails for sale in the back corner—just across from the retro-fitted seating area.
Definitely worth a trip down Broadway for a chill spot to drink, shop, or just hang out with friends.
Stop Three: Mochi Fresh
Location: 960 W. University Drive
Hours: 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
Per personal recommendation from a friend, we took a trip down University in Tempe to check out Mochi Fresh, a boba shop that not only hand-makes their boba and fresh mochi, but also serves a selection of hot foods and snacks.
We kept it simple and ordered their fresh, fruity, and juicy Berry Mix Fruit Tea with strawberry boba, which was essentially different berries thrown together to make the most unique, natural sweetness that cured my soul from a day of cooking under the sun.
Stop Four: DaYung’s Tea
Location: 3126 S. Mill Ave.
Hours: Sunday 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 12 p.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 12 p.m.-10 p.m., closed Tuesdays
A little off the beaten path of the usual hot spots is DaYung’s Tea. Further north on Mill, the third stop on the tour has my favorite milk tea of any boba shop: the Oreo Milk Tea with actual pieces of Oreo in it.
If banana is something you’re enthusiastic about—or if you’re curious and want to try something new—the Banana Milk Tea was also really interesting to try out.
DaYung’s has plenty of unique options to choose from and is conveniently located next door to a delicious sushi and ramen shop.
Stop Five: Bubble Bee Tea
Location: 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle #554
Hours: Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Finally, on our trip through Tempe, it’s time to complete the boba tea crawl with a stop at Arizona Mills mall. Across from the Rainforest Cafe lies a true hidden gem: Bubble Bee Tea.
This Tempe treasure is exactly what it sounds like: a bee-themed store where they serve the bubbling boba drink inside of the cutest honeycomb-esque cup—it’s technically a bowl, but it comes with the perks of still getting to stab the cover with a straw to get to your drink.
In this case, I got the sweet and slightly sour Pomegranate Popper with a little more strawberry popping pearls. The tartness of the drink was refreshing and helped refuel my energy as I spent the rest of my trip browsing the mall, ending my crawl on a sugary note.
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